Around New England

Longtime Boston Newsman Tom Ellis Dies

April 30, 2019

Longtime Boston television news anchor Tom Ellis died of cancer Sunday at his home in Sandwich. He was 86.

Ellis was a friendly folksy fixture on Boston television over the course of 40 years.

Ellis worked at all three major networks in Boston of the time – Channel 4, Channel 5, and Channel 7 – between the 1960s and 1990s, and then went on to work at New England Cable News from 1992 to 2008.

He also dabbled in acting, appearing in occasional movies.

Unlike many TV anchors, Ellis was popular with his co-workers.

One, Ally Donnelly, who worked with him at New England Cable News, recalled how he would treat people on the set.

“Tom cared about everyone on the team,” Donnelly said, according to New England Cable News. “I worked weekends reporting when he would anchor. At the end of shift, he walked through the entire newsroom, on to graphics, audio, and engineering shouting out, ‘Great job everybody. Thank you!’ He never forgot, for an instant, how many people and how much effort it takes to put on a newscast. He was a lovely person with sparkling eyes and — always — a story to tell.”

At his Cape Cod retirement home Ellis tended his garden and was known for frequenting Marshland Restaurant and Bakery, a local institution, among other eateries.

He leaves his wife, Arlene; two daughters and a son; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

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